S&P’s assigned its “A” rating to Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.’s (HIG) $300 million senior unsecured notes offering. The proceeds are a drawdown on an existing shelf registration and are expected to be used to refinance $300 million of public debt due to mature later this year. As a result, S&P’s expects HIG’s financial leverage (debt plus preferred stock outstanding as a percent of capitalization) to remain unchanged.
As of June 30, 2002, HIG’s financial leverage—excluding other comprehensive income—was about 31 percent, within S&P’s expectations. Similarly, fixed-charge coverage is expected to remain adequate in the 4.75 times (x)-5.25x range.
HIG is a diversified insurance holding company that has developed a strong franchise in the U.S. asset accumulation and P/C insurance markets, as demonstrated by its better-than-average profitability compared with many of its competitors. In addition, the capital adequacy of the P/C insurance operations, though not a strength of the organization, is expected to improve as management takes steps to address this issue.
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